Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Pre-Kara Moonkin Gear Guide Part 3

Here is part three. It will focus on Waist, Legs, Boots, and rings. As always please feel free post comments and questions if you have other suggestions or ideas.

1. [Windhawk Belt] - BoP Crafted - Leatherworking - I really hate to list another BoP crafted item as the number one choice but the Windhawk set is very nice and leatherworking is a fairly common profession among druids. This is a very well rounded belt with a lot of damage. It has almost everything a moonkin could ask for. It has lightly less DPS stats than other available items but it makes up for it with a lot of mana regen.
2. [Girdle of Ruination] - BoE Crafted - Tailoring - This belt is very expensive and requires at least 26 primals and a Primal Nether to craft. However it is an awesome belt that is comparable to the DPS belts found in Kara.
3. [Moonrage Girdle] - Steamvaults - Hydromancer Thespia - There are better cloth options below but this is the best leather belt available if you are not a leatherworker. It has a good amount of damage and crit. It also has quite a bit of spirit but lacks stamina.

Honorable Mentions - [Sash of Serpentra] & [A'dal's Gift]

1. [Spellstrike Pants] - BoE Crafted - Tailoring - Like the hood it doesn't have a lot of base stats but it makes up for it with an orgy of damage stats. 46 Spell damage, 26 Spell Crit, 22 Spell Hit, and 3 sockets. If you are a tailor you also get a very nice set bonus with the hood. This is by far the best option pre-kara, and could last you quite a while.
2. [Kurenai Kilt] (H) - Rep Reward Revered - Kurenai - These legs lack base stats but they have a ton of damage and crit. By far the best leather option available even from heroics, and they are so easy to get. Just questing through Nagrand should give you 90% of the rep you will need. In my opinion there are only two reasons you shouldn't use these pants. 1. You have the Spellstrike Pants. 2. You need more base stats. If you feel you need more base stats look at the two honorable mentions.

Honorable Mentions: [Trousers of Oblivion] & [Incanter's Trousers]

1. [Shattrath Jumpers] - Dungeon Quest - Into the Heart of the Labyrinth - There are n0t that many options for boots, and the two listed are almost equal. These are very easy to get and have slightly more damage if you ignore the socket bonus. That is why they are listed first.
2. [Moonstrider Boots] - Sethekk Halls - Darkweaver Syth - I nice set of boots with all around good stats. It has a little less damage that the boots above and that is why it is ranked second. However it does have more mana regen that can be very important in early raiding.

Rings: There are not a ton of good rings but you will replace your second one with the Violet Signet very quickly.
1. [Ashyen's Gift] - Exalted Rep Reward - Cenarion Expedition - This ring can be a little tough to get but is very nice if you can. It has a lot of damage, hit and stam. However, it does lack Int.
2. [Seer's Signet] - Exalted Rep Reward - Scryers - If you have access to this ring it is a bit of a no brainer. It has quite a bit of Damage, Crit, and Stam.
3. [Ryngo's Band of Ingenuity] - Arcatraz - Wrath-Scryer Soccothrates - A very nice ring with well rounded stats.
4. [Scintillating Coral Band] - Steamvault - Hydromancer Thespia - Also a nice ring with well rounded stats. It focus a little more on crit and less on damage. That is why it is listed 4th.

Patch Update:
The patch is here. I fired up the computer before going to work to see if there was extended maintenance today knowing that would be a good indication. In stead of going to the log in screen it just started downloading the patch. So, I have a busy WoW day ahead of me. I do want to go check out all of the new stuff but I also have to update addons and such. Good Luck to everyone with getting everything updated. I may make a post later about the things that are in the patch and not in the patch, but it may end up just a recap of all the things I said before.

Guild Update:
Had a good night last night. I wasn't in for the entire raid but the guild 2 shotted Kazzak which is a first for the rebuilt WA. We also one shotted both VR and Solarion. Unfortunately we didn't get to Mag this week so Graylo still doesn't have his title. However, I do think we are getting past the point where we need his gear.

Toon Update:
- Nothing new.

Graypal - Nothing new.
Grayfel - I did some quests while waiting to get into the raid and got him his fel hunter.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Pre-Kara Moonkin Gear Guide Part 2

So here is part two. This section will look at Chests, Bracers, and Gloves. Again, if you have any questions please feel free to post them in the comments section.

Gear Guide Part 2.

Chest: This one is pretty hard. There are a lot of good cloth chests and it really depends on what you are looking for. It is nearly impossible to rank them. If you are not willing to where cloth then choice becomes easy.
1. [Windhawk Hauberk] - BoP Crafted - Leatherworking - I realize that not everyone will have access to this chest. However, it you are a leatherworker it is a clear choice. It has great overall stats with a ton of damage and crit. Note that the pure damage and the healing damage on this item stack for a total of 46 damage before sockets.
2. [Robe of Oblivion] - Shadow Labyrinth - Murmur - As I said before this is a really hard choice. I ranked this number two because it has the most potential overall spell damage of the non-crafted items, but there are a lot of other good options if you can't get this one. Check the Honorable Mentions for other options of cloth chests.
3. [Tunic of the Nightwatcher] - Underbog - Swamplord Musel'ek - If you leveled as moonkin you better already have this chest. The heroic chest is only slightly better and much harder to get. It has well rounded stats with nice overall damage. I would also suggest ignoring the socket bonus since 2 mp5 isn't all that much.

Honorable Mentions: [Anchorite's Robes], [Warp Infused Drape], [Auchenai Anchorite's Robe], & [Bloodfyre Robes of Annihilation]

1. [Windhawk Bracers] - BoP Crafted - Leatherworking - Much like the crafted chest these bracers have very good stats and there aren't a lot of other options. The badge bracers are quite a bit better so these probably won't last really long but they are much better then the other options before you raid and do lots of heroics. I do suggest that you ignore the Socket bonus.
2. [Shattrath Wraps] - Dungeon Quest - The Soul Devices - A very nice set of bracers that you are almost guaranteed to have. Doesn't have as much damage as other options, but it does have nice overall stats.
3. [Bracers of Havok] - BoE Crafted - Tailoring - Very high damage and fairly cheap for crafted bracers. I would ignore the socket bonus on these as well.
4. [Mana Infused Wristguards] - Quest - A Fate Worse Than Death - Sadly these are the best Leather Bracers available if you are not willing to wear cloth. They are also a perfect reason as to why Moonkin should where cloth when it has better stats than your leather options.

1. [Gloves of Arcane Acuity] - Magister's Terrace - Kael'thas Sunstrider - Another great new item from patch 2.4. It has a ton of damage and hit with good overall stats as well. This is clearly the best choice.
2. [Starlight Gauntlets] - Underbog - Hungarfen - This is another item that you should already have if you leveled as a moonkin. These are the best leather gloves before you raid and you can use them at level 63. They have decent overall stats with a good amount of spell damage.
3. [Gloves of Oblivion] - The Shattered Halls - Warchief Kargath Bladefist - It seems like every other item I list is a warlock set piece. These gloves are great if you need some spell hit, but the other two options are clearly superior if you don't.

Guild Update:
As I mentioned last post we have been having a little trouble getting enough healers to raid. Thursday was no exception. Hopefully we will have more people back this week and can get back on track. Other than that there is not much to say.

Toon Update:
Graylo - I got about 34 badges over the weekend, bringing my total to 165. I need 45 more to get the 2.4 ring and gloves, and the 2.3 chest. I would need 75 after that to get 2.3 head. If the patch doesn't drop tomorrow I may go ahead and get the 2.3 Helm since it will take a couple of weeks for the 2.4 badge vendors to be available.

Graypal - I didn't do anything with him.

Grayfel - Got him up to level 35. I really like playing him but some of the warlock quarks are starting to annoy me. Soul Shards should Stack!. The freaken pet quests have me running all over the place. I am level 35 and still don't have a fel hunter. My mining as also annoying me because I am a little behind leveling it. I can mine most of the nodes I see but there are a few that I can't because I am to low level. He is out of rested XP again, and I will be having company next week end so who knows when I will pick him up again.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Pre-Kara Moonkin Gear Guide Part 1

I have written this guide with the intent to help a new moonkin to gear up for raiding. Thus I have avoided all badge gear and Heroic drops since these items are really hard to obtain without raiding already.

I have also excluded all PvP gear. This is not to say that you shouldn't raid with PvP gear if you can, but it isn't ideal. PvP gear includes stats that are useless in PvE and exclude other stats that are musts when raiding. You should only use PvP gear when raiding when the PvP gear way outs levels the content you are doing. For example, using Season 3 PvP gear is probably better than most Kara and Pre-kara gear.

I have ranked a few choices and provided a leather option for those that don't want to wear cloth. So here is part 1 of my gear guide which looks at Backs, Helms, Necks, and Shoulders. I have also included a Stats overview to help explain why I make some of the choices I have made. Please feel free to ask questions or debate my choices if you disagree.

Stat Overview

Primary Stats: These are the four stats you should focus on in every piece of gear. Each of these stats play off of each other so it is hard to give values but I will provide you with what is generally accepted values of each. The basic rule of thumb is Spell Hit > Spell Damage > Spell Crit on a point for point basis. Spell Haste is a little different than the other Stats and its value varies significantly with regards to your gear level.

Spell Damage - This is your bread and butter stat. It increases the damage caused by your spells, and you can never have to much of it. It is what all other stats are compared to. A moonkin will want about 600 - 700 Spell damage before they start raiding.

Spell Hit - Unadjusted spell casters have a 17% chance to miss when targeting a raid boss. 16% of that chance to miss can be eliminated by stats and talents. The hit cap for Moonkins is 152 assuming you have two points in Balance of power. Spell hit is worth about 1.2 Spell Damage to the average raiding moonkin and can increase your DPS significantly. However, new raiders don't need to be at the cap to start raiding. Spell hit starts to get good at about 700 spell damage and it doesn't pay to hit cap until you have about 900 spell damage. So the basic lesson here is try to get hit capped but don't loose to much Spell damage doing so.

Spell Crit - This is the least valuable damage stat. For the average raiding moonkin one point of spell crit is worth about 0.70 Spell damage and gets worse the more dots you include in your rotation. It does benefit from high values of spell damage though. When you get int the 1100 SD range it starts to go above that 0.70 value.

Spell Haste - This stat is very different than the other primary damage stats. Unlike the other stats it does not increase how much damage you can do, it increases how quickly you do it. Spell haste doesn't really become valuable until you have at least 1080 Spell Damage. If you currently have mana issues while raiding you should not stack Haste at all.

Secondary Stats: These are stats that have an impact on your performance but are not key stats like the primary stats.

Stamina - Some people will disagree with me but I think this is a very important stat. Stamina helps to keep you alive and you can't DPS when you are dead. You generally won't equip for it unless you need a lot of health for a fight, and most of your gear will already have some.
Intellegence - This is the best secondary stat for moonkin because it affects almost everything. It increases your mana pool by 15 per point. It also improves your Crit rate at 80 Int equals a 1% crit chance. For moonkin, your spell damage is increased by 25% of your Int and your Mp5 is increased by 10% of your Int. It will also increase how much mana you get from Spirit after patch 2.4. While Intelligence does a lot for moonkin, it is not something you should gem or gear for specifically. You will get all of the Intelligence you need by gear for the Primary stats since virtually all caster gear has Intelligence on it.
Spirit - This stat is all about mana regen the more you have the higher your mana regen will be. This is another stat that you shouldn't really gear for. You will get plenty from Tier gear and some of the new badge rewards. However, It is a good idea to get a weapon with lot of spirit that you can equip when you innervate yourself.
Mp5 - Much like spirit this stat deals with your mana regen. It ticks while you are in combat but is unaffected by Innervate. It is a good stat but I wouldn't give up much if any Spell Damage for Mp5. You should get some naturally from Enchants and gear with out gearing for it specifically.

Useless Stats: These are stats that have little or no affect on your raid performance. You should never choose a piece of gear based on these stats.

Armor - Armor reduces the amount of physical damage a player takes. Most of the damage a caster will take in the raid is not physical and therefore unaffected by armor. If you are taking a lot of physical damage in a raid then there are other problems. This is why it doesn't matter if moonkin wear cloth or leather, you will be choosing the item based on the other stats provided.
Spell Penetration - This stat reduces partial resistances of spells. However, bosses have a base level of resistance that cannot be reduced. Thus it is useless in PvE. On top of that it has very little use in PvP since most players don't have much resistance there either.
Resilience - This stat can reduce the chance of a crushing blow but those really are not the concern of caster DPS. Therefore this stat has no value to a moonkin.
Strength - This stat does increase you Attack Power if you ever use the Melee for Mana mechanic but those should be very limited situations.
Agility - This is another stat that helps you if you Melee but you shouldn't melee for the most part.

Gear Guide Part 1.

1. [Cloak of the Betrayed] – Magister’s Terrace – Priestess Delrissa – This is new to patch 2.4 and is awesome. After you socket it will have a ton of Spell Hit and Spell Damage. [The Ruby Drape of the Mysticant] is only slightly better if you put a Veiled Noble Topaz in the cloak's socket.

2. [Baba's Cloak of Arcanistry] - The Mechanar - Pathaleon the Calculator - This is a very nice cloak and would have been my first choice prior to patch 2.4.

3. [Cloak of Woven Energy] - Quest - Hitting the MotherLode - A good cloak that is very easy to get since it ins a quest reward.

1. [Spellstrike Hood] - BoE Crafted - Tailoring - This is a very expensive item but you can farm all of the mats your self as of 2.4. If you are a tailor it is even better since you can take advantage of the set bonus. It has a bunch of all the stats you need; Hit, Damage, and Crit.

2. [Magnified Moon Specs] - BoP Crafted - Engineering - I didn't list this first because it is BoP, but if you are an Engineer then this is your best option. Its to bad you can't craft the cloth version because its a little better. However, the lether version has a ton of Damage and Crit also. Plus it has some other nice side bonuses.

3. [Druidic Helmet of Second Sight] - Quest - Teron Gorefiend, I am... - I wore this helm for a very long time. It is a very nice item that is really easy to get by doing some group quests in Shadowmoon Valley.

Honorable Mentions: [Hood of Oblivion] & [Windscale Hood]

1. [Shattered Sun Pendant of Acumen] - Exalted Rep Reward - Shattered Sun Offensive - A very nice new neck available after patch 2.4. The rep grind is very easy but will take you several days to complete unless you chain run Magister’s Terrace.

1. [Brooch of Heightened Potential] - Shadow Labyrinth - Blackheart the Inciter - It has all three major Spell stats and a little Int and Stam. A very nice neck until you can get an epic out of Karazhan.

2. [Warp Engineer's Prismatic Chain] - The Mechanar - Mechano-Lord Capacitus - This is a debatable choice. Some people will consider my number 3 option better. Basically I am choosing 17 stam over 5 crit. I make this choice because Stam is very important in boss fights and Crit doesn't do a lot for you in early raiding with low Spell Damage.

3. [Torc of the Sethekk Prophet] - Dungeon Quest - Brother Against Brother - This item has a little more DPS than the neck above, so it is a very good choice also. It is also fairly easy to get since you only have to kill the first boss in Sethekk Halls.

1. [Duskhallow Mantle] - Magister’s Terrace – Priestess Delrissa – Another item that is new in patch 2.4. These shoulders are seriously awesome with a ton of damage and crit. These are clearly the best option available pre-Kara.

2. [Mantle of Three Terrors] - Black Morass - Chrono Lord Deja - It has a nice amount of spell damage and spell hit. It also drops off the first boss in BM so you may get a couple of chances to get it trying to finish your Kara Key.

3. [Lunar-Claw Pauldrons] - The Mechanar - Mechano-Lord Capacitus - This is the main leather option. There are other cloth shoulders that are better but not by much. There is also a green pair of leather shoulders that have better DPS below, but these shoulders have a good amount of base stats that make some of the lost damage up.

Honorable Mentions:[Elekk Hide Spaulders] & [Spaulders of Oblivion]

Guild Update:
The Week after Progression Week has gone a little slower than progression week, and that is not all that unexpected by me anyway. Our attendance hasn't been great from a healer stand point and we aren't quite as focused. We pushed it really hard last week and I think some people including myself are stepping back a little this week to spend time with family or on other commitments. It will be interesting to see if the NCAA tournament affects us at all.

Our goals for Tuesday and Wednesday was to get Hydross, Lurker, and Leo on Tuesday, then do Tidewalker on Wednesday and work on FLK some. We did get Lurker and Leo down on Tuesday, but we went a little later than normal. I actually missed the Leo downing because I wanted to spend some time with my wife after she got home from work late. Also two Warrior, Priest, Druid, gloves tokens dropped, so there is less competing for me to get them going forward. On Wednesday, I didn't raid until pretty late. When I logged on they had already downed Hydross and were working on TW short handed. So I joined the raid to help out. Apparently we had a severe lack of healers last night because we had two officers raiding on alts. We did down TW after a couple of attempts but it was a little late and not many people wanted to work on FLK.

So, our progress so far this week hasn't been to bad. We are taking a little more time than is needed but that should improve as we get more experience with the fights. We will be working on TK tonight and might do Mag.

Toon Update:
Only posted a couple of days ago so there is really nothing to say. I did do a little bit with Grayfel but he didn't ding. Graylo has just been up to his usual stuff of raiding and farming. Graypal is still sitting around.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Flying through Content.

A couple of weeks ago Fero our GM put for the idea that we are going to have a "Progression Week" from March 11th to March 17th. He also told us officer (did I tell you guys that I was made Druid CA?) that he was going to do some things that might be a little unpopular and asked us to trust him. The basic idea behind it was to give everyone a little time to farm consumables and cash for repairs if needed and to ask us to stay a little later than normal so that we could get one or two more attempts in on a boss.

He laid out a very aggressive schedule that I thought of as a best case scenario for the week. I was going to be happy if we could get most of what he proposed done. He also made one of my friends that returned from Avarice the Paladin class lead after he had only been back in the guild for a day. As he had hinted at this was very unpopular with some of the old WA members. I will admit that I wondered how it might look to some of our new members that someone comes back and is made an officer that quickly. I don't want anyone to feel like we are favoring old returning members over our new recruits because we don't. However, there was a method to the madness. Our Paladin class was completely unorganized. It took forever to get the buffs organized and no one was stepping up to do the job. While some people didn't like the promotion at first, it was a complete success, and no one is questioning it now. The paladins have been organized and buffs are going out much quicker.

The goal for the week was to get Hydross, Lurker, and Tidewalker in SSC, and get Void Reaver and Solarion in TK. As the new WA we had already downed Hydross and Lurker, but not the others. We had attempted VR and Solarion in the past with varying success, and I would have been happy if we downed Lurker, Hydross and two of the other bosses we hadn't downed.

We actually downed all 5 bosses that we had planned plus Doomwalker and Leo. That is more than I would have dared to hope for. I have to give a lot of credit to our new recruits. They have worked very hard running Kara and other things to gear them selves up and have picked up the fights fairly quickly. While we veterans have helped them, and lead the raids, we have had more time on these fights and the learning curve isn't as steep for us. So all of the new people deserve a lot of credit.

The only downside for the week was a personal one. I was not there for the Doomwalker kill, and it is very frustrating. Getting new purples is great, but that is not my primary goal when raiding. My real goal is to be there for the first kills and be in the screen shot. To make matters worse this wasn't a first kill for just new WA. This was a first kill for WA period, and I missed it. Oh well, that that big of a deal.

So, I guess the question now is how does New WA compare to Old WA in terms of progress and ability. Old WA was 5/6 in SSC and 1/4 in TK. They had also done Kazzak but not Doomwalker. New WA is 4/6 in SSC and 2/4 in TK. We have done Doomwalker but not Kazzak. By pure number standard they we are now even, but the numbers are a little miss leading. Old WA could have easily done Solarion, Al'ar, and Doomwalker if we had ever put any real amount of time into it. If I am objective I think we are very close to where we were but still a little behind. Considering the fact that we are only two months removed from the split I think this is amazing.

On other side note, you will remember how I said that two of my friends came back to WA from Avarice. Well, another one of my friends left WA just a before the split because he saw it coming. He joined a guild that had a similar level of progression to us before the split and has since progressed into Hyjal and BT. Well he came back to WA last night. Apparently they had been sitting my friend in favor of old inactive members that had recently been reactivated. Plus, they haven't gotten him in the TK runs so that he can get his Hyjal attunment after saying they would. There loss is our gain because he is awesome at his class. The best part about it is that all of the people that I consider my closes friends in the game are all back in one guild. I am a very happy camper right now. It makes my reject application to Legacy look a little like a blessing now.

Patch Update:
Not a whole lot to say here. The patch is clearly very close to being released judging from the hints that Blizzard has been posting in the forums. Also, the patch has started to use the back ground downloader last week which is usually a good sign that the patch is about two weeks away. My guess is next Tuesday since it doesn't sound like it is coming out today. I really can't wait since this patch will mean a lot for me and my guild but at least I know it will be here soon. Here are a couple of tidbits since my last post.

- The range of Cyclone has been reduced to 20 yards. (was 30 yards before) - This is another Resto Arena nerf that affects moonkin pretty heavily also. Since I don't PvP much this doesn't really affect me since Cyclone is not a good spell in PvE. However, PvP moonkin are going nuts over this as it is one of the few things they have that is good for PvP.

- Prices of all patterns sold by the Shattered Sun Offensive have been increased. - The increases are pretty big, but I think they are fair. The Alchemist Stone patterns when from 2g to 25g. The Enchanting Patterns when from 2g to 15g. Jewelcrafting was hit hardest by far. All of the Epic Jem cutting patterns went from 1.50g to 50g. While this is a huge increase I think that it is ultimately fair. Raiders have spent a lot of time and money to get those patterns from the Mount Hyjal rep. Why should casual players now be able to get them after a simple SSO rep grind for the same cost. I am not say that only raiders should have this pattern, because I don't want to get into the whole Casual vs Hardcore argument, but these are great items and 50g isn't much to ask.

Toon Update:
Graylo - He has obviously been very active this week. He didn't get any new gear, but our resent progress suggests that he might soon. Unfortunately I couldn't get him in to Kara this week to get badges but I did do a little in ZA and ran some heroics. The biggest personal highlight is that I finally ran Heroic Arc. This may not seem like a big deal but it was the last heroic I needed for my Champion of the Naaru title. Now I only have to run Mag and its done. I should get it this week.

Graypal - Not a whole lot has been going on here. I did a few quests and I am trying to open up the netherwing dailies for him but haven't been able to get a group together for the final quest yet.

Grayfel - I made a decent amount of progress here. He went from level 28 to 31 over the weekend and used up al of his rested XP. I have also been trying to work on his professions but that is a little frustrating. Mining has been a bit of a pain in my side. It seems like every node I see is a copper node. The tin nodes are still giving me a skill up. I am starting to see a couple of Iron nodes around, but I can't mine them because my skill level is one point two low. Herbalism wasn't this hard but then again I went about it a little differently. Back then I didn't use a guide until Level 30 so I was running all over the place and saw a bunch of nodes. Also, I had much less rested XP and it was before the leveling nerf. As a result I am spending a lot less time in an area than I did before. Oh well, I also need to send Graylo to buy him his First Aid books. Anyway, he is probably on hold for a little while to gain some more rested XP.

Quick note to my Guild:
I have been wondering for a little while anyone from my guild reads my blog. I haven't advertised it to the guild because it is a bit of a diary and asking people to read it just feels strange. Plus I don't want to feel like every time I write something in the blog I am making a guild announcement. However, the fact of the matter is I do want people to read my blog. So, while I haven't advertised my blog to the guild, I haven't hidden it either and there are several ways they could have found it. So, if you read my blog please let me know if you want to either in the comments or in-game? Its not a big deal I would just like to know.

Oddly enough, I had decided to ask this question in my blog last Thursday, not long after that one of the guild officers let me know that she did read my blog. Its funny how these things can come together.

Oh, to that officer. If you go back and read my post you will see I said Trusting and not Gullable.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Hydross Down Again

I was on vacation most of the time since my last post, so I have had to play a bit of catch up. It didn't sound like the guild did much while I as gone. It sounds like they worked on a few bosses but didn't down any of them. I think this is due to how we have been going at raiding lately. We have been trying a lot of different bosses without downing them. As I said, I was gone so I don't know the reason for the jumping around, but in my mind we should focus on one boss at least for a couple of days. If you don't have the right raid make up for a fight that is understandable, but changing just for change doesn't make sense.

Things have gone well since I got back. Last night we went to SSC, and three or four shotted Lurker. All of the attempts went pretty well but we had an issue with healing range. We have started to use new positioning and the MT was getting out of range of the healers. After we repositioned the healers a little bit we downed him. Oddly enough [Cord of Screaming Terrors] dropped again. The Cord is better than what I am currently using ([Starfire Waistband]) if I needed the hit. However, since I have been running with an Elemental Shaman a lot lately I am actually trying to get rid of hit. Plus, so many of our new casters need the gear, I would have a hard time rolling even if it was a pure upgrade.

I know that I shouldn't really care, but I now know what it feels like to want an item really badly and then have it drop a lot when you don't really need it. Its not that big of deal but it is a little frustrating. Why couldn't it drop more 3 months ago.

The highlight of last night was Hydross. We downed him on the first attempt of the night, and this was the first time WA has downed him since the split. This wasn't our first attempt on him, they did try him while I was on vacation, but I was still impressed. It did help that the two tanks were old WA people that had downed him before, but all the new DPS and healers did a good job not pulling aggro during the transition and the new pally tank did very well with the adds. All in all a great night for WA.

On a side note, it sounds like the pace at which Avarice is raid is starting to take its toll. Last night after the raid we had two old WA members come back from Avarice. Not everyone is willing to welcome them back with open arms , but they are both good friends of mine and play a class that we desperately need. So, I am excited to have them back.

Patch update:

- [Sorcerer's Alchemist Stone] - They changed the stats and the Mats for this stone and I am very pleased. Finally there is a good reason to have Alchemy on my main. Changing the stats from 54 Spell hit to 63 Spell Damage makes this one of the top 3 caster trinkets in game in my opinion. [Hex Shrunken Head] is still the best trinket in the game in my opinion and [The Skull of Gul'dan] is awesome if you need hit. However, no other trinket tops it from a damage standpoint and it also provides a ton of extra mana. Reducing the mats on it is nice but not really huge in my opinion. I always thought that a great trinket should be expensive but if they want to reduce the number of primals needed I'm not going to argue.

They also changed the melee DPS trinket to provide Attack Power instead fo Crit, but they did nothing to the tanking trinket. The healing trinket was already awesome so no change was needed.

It is becoming a little clear to me that these stones are going to favor Casters, and I'm not sure what Blizzard can do about it. The thing that makes the Alchemist stones unique is the increased benefit from mana and health pots and melee just isn't going to get a huge benefit from that. Health pot usage is as needed and most melee I know use heroic or haste pots to improve their performance. Most casters on the other hand chug mana pots on cooldown. Some have suggested that the pot buff should affect all pots, but that has to be difficult to program. This just goes to show how hard it is to make these professions good for everyone.

- Regrowth: The mana cost of this spell has been reduced by approximately 20%. - It looks like they are trying to make up for the nerf to Lifebloom. I don't know if this change will make it a go to spell for resto druids, but it is a good change for me. Regrowth has become my main self healing spell since I got the t5 set bonus and this only makes it better.

- Swipe: This ability will no longer strike any secondary targets which are under the effect of crowd-control spells that break on taking damage. i.e. Polymorph, Sap, etc. - Nice change, makes feral tanking a lot easier in 5 man instances and during trash in raids.

- The daily quest Escape from Skettis has had its reward tuned down. - It sucks but not all that shocking. The hardest part about this quest is getting it to spawn. It is easy when I do it by my self, but most of the time there are at least 2 or 3 people waiting for it. Doing it in a group makes it ridiculously easy. It sucks that they are limiting its profitability with all the new dailies coming out its not that big of a deal.

- [Brilliant Glass] - This is a great idea. It makes all those green gems valuable again. I now have a reason to stop passing on all of those green gems that drop. Now if I can just get Grayfel high enough so that I can start making my own gems that would be great.

- Epic gems purchasable with Badges of Justice - Another good addition. All of the hardcore raiders are rolling their eyes at this, but its nice for most of the WoW community. It gives PvPers a good way to get the best gems without spending tones of money. It gives people that don't need badge gear a place to use their badges. I know a couple of people with over 200 and nothing to use them on. It also reduces the competition for gems that will drop of Mag and other bosses. It is helpful all the way around but now I need to farm even more badges.

Toon Update:
There is nothing to say here since I was on vacation most of the time since my last update.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

So your looking for a Raiding Guild.

Wandering Alliance has gotten a lot of new members recently, some of whom have little or no raid experience. When an experienced raider applys, the decision is easy. Usually they get a quick invite assuming we have room, or they are obviously stupid and are rejected. Inexperienced raiders are much harder to evaluate. My recent experiences with rebuilding WA have gotten me thinking about what I look for in an applicant. So here are some tips on how to get into a raiding guild for new raiders.

Quality of play is obviously the most important factor when considering a new applicant but that is really hard to evaluate unless you know the applicant or do test runs. Since most guilds do not do test runs there are three main things guilds consider when looking at a new applicant: Talent Spec, Gear, and Application. How much each of these matter depends on the guild and the needs of the guild. However, putting effort into all of them goes a long way.

Talent Spec:
Your spec may not seem all that important because it is so easily changed, but it is a great indication of how well you know your class with regards to raiding. First you should research raid specs for your class. There are tons of resources out there that explain almost every class and spec. Skipping what is considered a must have talent can cause your application to be ignored. If you are currently using a PvP spec or Solo spec then post what your Raid spec would be when you apply. If you have made some uncommon choices in your spec explain why, but understand that your reasoning may not fit in the guilds style or needs.

Gear means a lot of things and will be looked at a lot of different ways. Here are some of the more common views.

1. How much work do you need? Even if you are the best player in the world, having gear significantly below the guilds current progression means the guild will need to put a lot of effort into you. It is also an indication if they will have to run old content to get you attuned to their current progress. Its not a deal breaker if the guild really needs your class and spec, but someone that can step right in has a definite advantage.

2. Enchants: Not having enchants on your gear is seen as not being very serious about your performance. They don’t necessarily have to be the most expensive. Putting +15 Spell Damage on a pair of green bracers is kind of stupid since you should replace them quickly, but putting +12 Int is a smart choice. It shows that you are making a reasonable effort to maximize your performance.

3. Gems: All sockets MUST be filled. Put cheap green gems in if you have to, but all epic gear should have blue quality gems. Research what stats benefit your class the most and socket accordingly. Also, be aware that the best choice may be ignoring the socket bonus.

4. Crafted Gear: Some of the crafted gear available is much better than some of the stuff available from T4 content. If you can craft a piece of gear that is better than your current piece then do it. A Shadow Priest Tailor without Frozen Shadoweave will draw questions. Since this is some of the easiest gear to obtain, not doing so is highly looked down on.

5. Instance Gear: This should be your main source of gear pre-kara. There are some great pieces from quests and professions but that can’t fill every slot. Research what type of gear suits you best, and find out where it drops. The more effort you put into improving your gear the better you will look.

This is the most important aspect of getting into a good raid guild. A great app can cause the guild to overlook your less then stellar gear. A bad app will cause you to be ignored even with the best gear. Here are a couple things to remember:

1. Fill out the entire application and provide detailed answers. When asked what are your characters strengths, the wrong answer is “CC and high DPS.” Stating the obvious like saying CC in a short answer doesn’t help you. Giving a well thought out explanation will help you dramatically.

2. Grammer and Leet speak: Anyone that has read this blog knows I am not the best at this, but grammar is really important when trying to make a good impression. Most guilds won’t care about a few errors, but an app filled with errors will raise doubts. Also do not use leet speak. Its fine while joking around over vent or in the guild channel, but a guild app should be serious. Most guilds are run by adults that find leet speak very annoying. Leet speak will not help you and will probably hurt you.

3. Humor: Making someone laugh can automatically make him like you. So humor is not necessarily a bad thing, but it should be used with caution. Sarcasm does not translate well in text and can easily be taken the wrong way. When making a joke, make sure its not at the guilds expense and complemented with a lot of serious responses also.

4. Finally, be respectful and humble. Being confident in your abilities is one thing but nobody likes a jackass.

Guild Update:
I got the dreaded “Are you happy here” question this weekend from the GM. Apparently he saw my application at Legacy. It’s not that big of a deal since I did post the app a while ago and I am happy with how things are going at WA. We are making progress and starting to get some high quality recruits. Now if we could just get a few more healers we would be set.

Toon Update:
Graylo – Raiding, Farming, Heroics.
Graypal – I pooled a lot of gold together and got him his epic mount. I am very poor right now but that should improve soon after I do some dailies.Grayfel – I worked on him a little. I wanted to use all his rested xp over the weekend but it didn’t happen. I did get him up to 28 though.